Mental Illness...suicide awareness
Those two words make everyone stop in their tracks. No one is willing to admit they suffer from mental illness. I do. (Yes, I can hear all the jokes, so stop doing that.) I suffer from depression.
As a teenager I did not understand depression. I was bullied by a person I considered a friend. She seem to take pleasure in making fun of me to whoever we might be around. There were times I wanted to die. And there were times I tried to do that very thing. But God had a plan.
Recently there seems to be more suicide making the news. I never heard about suicide from the news growing up. But since Robin Williams ended his talented life, there seems to be more awareness and reporting on it. Recently there has been speculation that a soap opera star ended his life.
Kristoff St. John starred on The Young & The Restless. He portrayed Neil Winters. His brother on the soap was Malcom, portrayed by Shemar Moore. I loved the show in those early days. I loved to watch these two portray brothers. Neil was all about family. Tragedy in real life took its toll on Kristoff. His character became less of a figure on the soap. These characters come in and out of the storylines, but his absence was felt. His character was honest and good. A rarity on soap operas. They had a tribute to him that did not do him or his character justice. How they are going to handle the death of the actor is anyone’s guess.
I was addicted to soap operas. Arranged my class schedule so I could see General Hospital. Took lunch breaks to watch The Young & The Restless. I had a housekeeper when I was little who watched her soaps. I had to be quiet, so I watched them with her. We would talk about Erica Cane and how bad she was. When Ryan’s Hope came out, we watched it together. (This was in the Summer or if I was sick, I did not skip school to watch my soaps.) I have always found it entertaining to see what drama others could create and what they seem to be able to get away with. Murder & adultery were common on these soaps. I actually felt like they should murder a couple of characters, still do.
I used to dream of having Erica Cane’s life, Victor Newman’s success, or even Katherine Chancellor’s jewelry. But none of these characters have something I have and hold dear, my walk with Christ. They may be Christians, but God never comes up in a soap opera. As a matter of fact, let’s be honest, soap operas are the handbook to what not to do. The opposite of the Bible. The price to be a star in Hollywood, whether it is on the big screen or small screen-daytime or primetime, is too high for me. I would have to turn from my faith to portray characters that have no morals.
Real life is tough enough without adding Hollywood’s standards to it. I find it understandable that a depressed person living in Hollywood doesn’t want to live that way anymore. The saddest thing for me about that statement is they only see one option. I wish I could have talked to Robin Williams, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Kristoff St. John. I would have shared my faith with them. I would have tried to help them see where hope comes from. Where strength comes from. And where love comes from. God had a plan, I was not able to change His plan by committing suicide. I am thankful that God rescued me. I am saddened that He could not save all the others from taking their own life. If you or someone you know is suicidal, please reach out. Most people never know when someone is suicidal unless they let you into their world. We are a master of hiding our pain and hurt.
Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” You cannot judge others for mental illness or attempting suicide until you have been where they are. It is not your place nor is it your story. Compassion goes a long way.
Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted; He saves the crushed in spirit.” There is a hope-filled verse! To be brokenhearted is to feel alone. But this verse shows us that we are not alone.
Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heaven and earth.” I love this Psalm. It is a comfort to know where my help comes from, he will never slumber, and he is my provider & keeper.
These are some of the verses that we need for the restoration of hope. Rest-in-Peace, Kristoff you are with your son, Julian.